Review of Crystal Stilts single 'Departure' released through Angular Records.
Another day, and yet another example of New York's seemingly untouchable underground music scene emerges from its never-ending conveyor belt.
Brooklyn-reared five-piece Crystal Stilts aren't new in the strictest sense of the word, but their 'Alight Of Night' album, previously only available in the UK on import, already looks set to be I many people's end-of-year best of lists when it receives its long overdue release here next month.
'Departure', and its b-side 'Prismatic Room' both provide early tasters for anyone not quite familiar with the band, and in true enigmatic fashion, display two completely different sides to Crystal Stilts sound and make-up.
The lead track is a four-minute garage stomp that recalls Lazy-era My Bloody Valentine playing hopscotch in the schoolyard with the Reid Brothers while The Cramps and The Gun Club alternate between skips and jumps on the stereo. Its flipside meanwhile is a more elegiac affair, as swooning keyboards lead the way through a haze of fug and mournful vocals like Clinic on a bad trip with Jane From Occupied Europe.
What Crystal Stilts have in abundance though, despite the many reference points throughout, is an ability to concoct a sound around their influences that stands out as being distinctly of their own making, and in this current climate of desperate chancers and unashamed plagiarists, that alone is worthy of the most hearty salute.